Have our AONBs been forgotten in the Local Plan Review?

Dear Owl, I am glad that you raised the fact that 2/3rds of East Devon is situated in Areas of Natural Beauty. I am now in the process of completing the on-line consultation and, living in a town that is actually situated in the East Devon AONB, I am very disappointed that Question 8 seeks to have my opinion on the number of houses I would like to see in the area with no mention of this constraint.

EDDC is aware of a constraint as it is finally in Chapter 10 that the presence of AONBs is mentioned

– Our outstanding natural environment- Objective 8: To protect and enhance our outstanding natural environment and support an increase in biodiversity

10.1         East Devon is blessed with a truly outstanding natural environment. Around two-thirds of East Devon falls within Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). These areas have the highest level of landscape protection in England, EQUAL to that for National Parks. There are two AONBs in East Devon, the East Devon AONB occupies much of the south of the District, and the Blackdown Hills AONB which although mostly in East Devon also extends into neighbouring mid Devon and Somerset and occupies much of the north of the District.

10.3         The AONBs and other protected landscapes of East Devon are both of national and local importance, the countryside and coast that falls within them helps define much of the essence of the District. Protecting and indeed seeking to enhance our environment may, however, PLACE LIMITATIONS ON THE AMOUNT AND SUBSEQUENT LOCATIONS FOR DEVELOPMENT. Government policy states that AONBs are not normally appropriate for large scale development schemes, though to help support local communities and enterprises there is scope for smaller developments. 

Further in the document the seven towns and Cranbrook are lumped together for urban expansion and once again, it is only at the end of a long list of challenges that the following sentence appears-

The AONBs come close to or wash over most East Devon towns and this could LIMIT POTENTIAL.

It seems EDDC have a tremendous problem on their hands. Many of the villages are in the AONBs as well. Where can they accommodate housing?

Could they try and argue a “special case” with government?  

I urge everyone who hasn’t already done so to fill in this consultation bearing the above in mind.